This is part 4 of the production journal for the GunEngine Zero project, which I plan to launch in April of 2022. See the previous newsletters to read about how it all started.
When last we left off, I said I would go into more details about the story development of GunEngine Zero, so let’s get to it.
Once again, the concept basically started out as a ROM: Spaceknight reboot that I decided to instead develop into it’s own thing. This required me to find a unique perspective on all aspects of the story — the basic plot, the characters and their motivations.
So, I thought, “What can Gunny be instead of a white knight from outerspace?” And that question — not the answer, just the question — became the heart of the story. Because the answer varies. Everyone in the story has a different perception of who/what Gunny is. And that is the basic theme — how our perception creates our reality and informs our prejudices.
This thread is woven into all of the characters as well. For example, when we first meet Mya, she’s working the graveyard shift at a diner on the boardwalk. She’s presented as a “good girl” who works hard and defers to her parents. But we see hints of a wild side and a bit of a chaotic personality.
Then we have the sheriff. Right now, I’m just calling him “sheriff” in the script. I’m not sure if I’ll ever give him a proper name. He’s presented as a hard-as-nails John Wayne/Clint Eastwood type but we’ll eventually see that he has many surprising facets.
As for Gunny, I’m not going to tell you who/what he is here in this newsletter. That’s something you can discover when and if this story is ever told in full. And I think it will make for an interesting journey.
In this time when I was re-working the story, I also commissioned a few other artists to take a crack at the characters. In comic book-dom, art is king. So my theory is that it can help to reach more readers by having the characters represented with different art styles.
With that in mind, I found a couple of artists on Fiverr to do some manga and chibi-style drawings of Gunny and Mya. I might use these for stickers, pins or small prints.
I also found an amazing artist on Facebook named Joaquin Guerra. We had some live chats in which he shared his screen and sketched things out for me in real time. We worked together to come up with a detailed design for the alien creatures’ second form. (Second form? What does that mean, you ask? Find out in the next newsletter!)
Hopefully, I’ll be able to work with Joaquin again on many projects in the future (and I’ll be sure to remember that his first name is spelled “Joaquin”, not “Juaquin”).
In the next newsletter, I think I’ll lay out the full story for GunEngine Zero so you can see how everything fits together.
~ Michael T Gonzalez
BACK ON THE INSTA!
I’ve decided to jump back onto Instagram as sort of a last-ditch effort to try to reach more people. At this point, I honestly don’t know what else I can do that I haven’t already tried.
I’ll be posting preview artwork for the various upcoming projects as well as doodles that I make. I’ve been drawing as a sort of therapy. It helps to take my mind off other things so it’s a good stress release.
If you want to check me out there, it’s “rainyroad_media”.
HAPPY TURKEY DAY!
One Thanksgiving tradition I thought I’d share with you is the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day marathon. For those that don’t already know, MST3K is a sci-fi/comedy show about a guy who watches cheesy B-movies with his two robot friends while riffing them. This is something I did growing up (except without the robot friends part) so I took to this show immediately and it’s since become my favorite tv show of all time.
Anyway, when it originally aired on Comedy Central, they would show episodes all day long on Thanksgiving and it became my second-favorite event of the year, just behind the “A Christmas Story” marathon TBS/TNT used to run.
Many episodes are available on Youtube if you want to check them out. Some of the movies are so bad that even the riffs don’t make them much easier to watch. But most times the riffs make even the crappy movies into comedy classics.
Some standout episodes are “Space Mutiny” and “Mitchell” but there’s a ton more you can go through on the MST3K Youtube channel linked to the pic below to start your own Turkey Day tradition.
My favorite riff of all time was from an episode that I can’t recall exactly but I do remember the basic scene. A character was involved in a helicopter crash (I think) and his wife was accompanied to the accident scene by a friend. The friend, referring to the husband, asked a police officer, “How is he?” The riff one of the guys came up with as a response for the police officer was, “I’ve got two words for you: closed casket!”
Instead of a pic, I decided this time to share some scripts. I believe I mentioned these in a previous newsletter. They are just fan-fics I came up with when I thought about pitching my alternate takes on established characters. There are scripts for Ghost Rider, Batman, Alien vs Predator and an origin story for Galactus.
So, if you like reading comic book scripts (I know! Silly question, right? Right?!), check out the link below to read ‘em. They are each 10 pages or less and you don’t need to download or sign-up for anything. The PDF should open directly in your browser.
Click the image above to go directly to the store!
I decided to add a GunEngine Zero t-shirt to my Store Frontier store. This is the art by Joaquin Guerra. Available in 3 different colors and up to 3XL!
If we can reach 100 subscribers to this newsletter, I’ll start giving away random stuff, like comics (or sets of comics), posters, sticker sets, artwork (Oh, my!)
So tell your family, your friends, your enemies, your pets, your pet’s enemies and your social media followers to visit rainyroadmedia.com and sign up for the newsletter.
The more the merrier!